Rocket Updates: Relativity, Firefly and PLD Space Move Toward Launches

Relativity Space’s Terran 1 arrives at Cape Canaveral for its maiden launch. (Credit: Relativity Space)

Relativity Space’s Terran 1 booster has arrived at Cape Canaveral in Florida in preparation for its maiden flight later this year.

Dedicated Mission: $12 million

First Stage: 9 Aeon engines
Second Stage: 1 Aeon engine

Maximum Payload:
1,250 kg to 185 km low Earth orbit

Nominal Payload:
900 kg to 500 km sun synchronous orbit

High Altitude Payload:
700 kg to 1200 km sun synchronous orbit

Employees wave goodbye to a rocket stage being shipped to Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

Firefly Aerospace has shipped both stages required for the second flight test of its Alpha booster from Briggs, Texas to Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch, which has been named To the Black, could occur in July.

First Stage: 4 Reaver 1 engines
Second Stage: 1 Lightning 1 engine

Payload

1,170 kg to low Earth orbit
Inclination: 28.5°
Altitude: 200 km

745 kg to sun synchronous orbit
Altitude: 500 km

MIURA 1 rocket on the launch pad for tests. (Credit: PLD Space)

PLD Space has its MIURA 1 single-stage suborbital rocket on the launch pad for tests.

First Stage:  1 TEPREL-B engine

Payload

100 kg to 150 km

PLD Space Closes a Series B Investment Round of $28 Million

ARION1 booster (Credit: PLD Space)
  • The operation, led by Arcano Partners, Aciturri and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), has allowed the consolidation of previous company shareholders and the entry of new strategic financial partners. 
  • ArcanoBlueBull, Arcano’s specialized Tech M&A division, in addition to strengthening its investment through its IMASDE fund, has served as financial advisor to the round.
  • The investment enables the Spanish firm to advance in its next strategic milestones, such as the launch of its MIURA 1 suborbital rocket in 2022 and the MIURA 5 orbital in 2024, as well as expanding its productive and personnel capacities.

ELCHE, Spain (PLD Space PR) — PLD Space, the Spanish company that leads the space launch business for small satellites in Europe, has just closed a Series B funding round of $28 million. The operation, led by Arcano Partners, Aciturri and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) through the co-investment initiative of Innvierte program, has had the accompaniment of previous company shareholders, who have been able to strengthen their participation, and the entry of new strategic financial partners. ArcanoBlueBull, Arcano’s specialized Tech M&A division, in addition to strengthening its investment through its IMASDE fund, has served as financial advisor to the round.

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PLD Space Exhibits the First Privately Developed Spanish Suborbital Rocket

MIURA-1 rocket (Credit: PLD Space)

MIURA 1, the name of this suborbital launch vehicle demonstrator, will return to Teruel to continue with testing before its expected launch during the second half of 2022

  • The first MIURA 1 public exhibition has gathered numerous institutional representatives and 10,000 visitors
  • The company, located in Spain, has received more than €36 million of investment allowing the most promising project of the newspace European launchers developments.
  • PLD Space, led by the cofounders, Raúl Torres and Raúl Verdú, along with executive president, Ezequiel Sánchez, has positioned itself as a key player in the space transportation sector, using its rockets for the dedicated launch of small satellites
  • PLD Space is also developing MIURA 5, the orbital rocket that will carry out the company’s commercial operations in 2024

 ELCHE, Spain, 17 November 2021 — PLD Space has achieved a new milestone with the official presentation in Madrid of its MIURA 1 rocket, that has been exhibited fully assembled for the first time in the capital’s National Museum of Natural Science. This suborbital vehicle is a key step in launch vehicle development, a pathfinder for MIURA 5 development.

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CDTI Joins JME Venture Capital and ALZIS in Investing in PLD Space

Artist’s impression of the MIURA 5 orbital rocket in space. (Credit: PDL Space)
  • PLD Space has to date obtained over 28 million [$34.3 million] euros of private investment and institutional support, mainly in Spain
  • PLD Space is preparing to launch MIURA 1 towards the end of 2022

ELCHE, Spain, 17 December 2020 (PLD Space PR) — The Ministry of Science and Innovation’s CDTI agency has acquired a stake in PLD Space through its Innvierte programme. This initial tranche of 450,000 euros [$551,880] in a bridge financing round could subsequently be supplemented by further economic contributions up to a maximum of 15 million euros [$18.4 million] if so requested by the those investing in the forthcoming Series B.

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PLD Space Closes €7 Million Investment in Tie-up with Arcano Partners

Spain’s PLD Space, Miura 5 microlauncher (formerly Arion 2) aims to provide dedicated launches for an emerging small satellites market in 2021.
 (Credit: PLD Space)
  • Venture part of tech firm’s Series B investment round for space vehicle development
  • PLD Space already attracted over €18 million [$21.3 million] in private investment and institutional support in addition to new deal involving Arcano
  • Arcano Partners a leading financial advisor in Iberian market

ELCHE, Spain, 15 September 2020 (PLD Space) —  Spanish reusable launch vehicle developer PLD Space today announced the closure of further financing through a tie-up with independent financial advisory and alternative asset management group Arcano Partners. The €7 million [$8.3 million] venture will fund the build out of the PLD Space aerospace project in a deal forming part of its Series B investment round.

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PLD Space Achieved Full Engine Hot Fire for MIURA 1 Mission

  • TEPREL B is the regenerative engine, designed by PLD Space, that will be used on MIURA 1 flights
  • The two-minute test has been successfully achieved at PLD Space Propulsion Test Facilities in Teruel Airport.
  • Key milestone in MIURA 1 Engine Qualification Campaign, as the company achieved a full-time engine validation

ELCHE, Spain, February 26, 2020 (PLD Space PR) — In May 2019 PLD Space suffered a catastrophic engine failure, which provoked material damage, including the loss of the first flight version of the TEPREL-B liquid rocket engine, developed by PLD Space for MIURA 1 launch vehicle. Therefore, the company decided to pause the qualification process and analyse the root causes of the failure to solve the problems found.

After eight months of hard work, PLD Space successfully achieved a full mission duration hot test of the flight engine. This allowed the company to validate the nominal engine performance during the full mission duration burn of two minutes, the necessary time to boost MIURA 1 launch vehicle into space.

“This milestone is a huge step forward for PLD Space, for the Spanish space sector and the European small launcher competitiveness, and allow us to be one of the few companies in the world that has successfully developed, tested and qualified propulsion technologies for space launch vehicles. Achieving this important milestone implies a turning point in the commercial space race and take us a step closer for launching MIURA 1 into space. With this result, PLD Space has a rocket engine capable of reaching space soon”, Raúl Torres, CEO and co-founder of PLD Space.

PLD Space to Launch MIURA 1 Suborbital Rocket From “El Arenosillo” Experimentation Center

ARION1 booster (Credit: PLD Space)

ELCHE, Spain (PLD Space PR) — MIURA 1, the suborbital rocket developed by PLD Space, will be launched from “El Arenosillo” Experimentation Center (CEDEA), of INTA, during the third quarter of 2019. This technological demonstrator, whose development began in 2011, is designed to provide scientific and commercial access to space from Spain.

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